State won’t declare wet drought in Vidarbha

Crops and seeds on 50 lakh hectares have been washed away in the region

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: April 9, 2014 4:10 pm

The opposition led by BJP disrupted the legislative Assembly Monday after Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan failed to announce a package for farmers in Vidarbha who have suffered massive losses due to rain.

Crops and seeds on 50 lakh hectares have been washed out.

There were repeated adjounrments as the government refused to concede opposition demands.

State BJP president Devendra Fadnavis,who moved a calling-attention motion,demanded a compensation of Rs 25,000 per hectare for cotton growers in Vidarbha. He said,“Agriculture land across Vidarbha is submerged. Farmers need immediate financial help. Considering the situation,the government should declare a wet drought in the region.”

Congress members joined in,with some marching to the well of the House raising slogans and even climbing up the Speaker podium,but could not extract commitment from the government.

Chavan said,“I will tour Vidarbha this week,will make a statement Monday after assessing the situation and getting reports.”

Minister for relief and rehabilitation Patangrao Kadam toed the CM line. “The region is still reeling from rain. Let us assess the damage. We are definitely considering help to farmers as per guidelines,” he said.

Sources in Chief Minister’s Office said,“The matter will have to be discussed with Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Ajit Pawar. The Chief Minister did not want to commit without consulting the Finance Minister.”

Government records show 59 people have died in Vidarbha due to rain but Chavan claimed 50 deaths.

Fadnavis,former minister of state Vijay Wadettiwar and Congress MLAs Subhash Jhanak,Prakash Dahake and Virendra Jagtap and Sunil Kedar objected. Fadnavis said the toll could be much higher.

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